I had the pleasure of interviewing the lovely Amber Marchese recently. She’s a newcomer to the cast of “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” season 6 and married to an unbelievable, caring, supportive man, James Marchese. They have a solid, loving relationship, with a typical fiery Italian side to their marriage. Amber is the mother to Corbin and Isabella and stepmother to Michael and Sebastian. The four kids keep Amber on her toes. She puts her family above everything else and ingrains in them traditional values; such as faith in God, proper etiquette, discipline, as well as the importance of a first rate education.
Amber graduated with a BA, then acquired a Masters in Bio-Behavioral Studies/Exercise Physiology from Columbia University. She has a passion for health and fitness and has created her own fitness brand called Vici fitness.
Diagnosed with breast cancer at 31-years-old, she underwent a double mastectomy and a year and a half of chemotherapy; all while caring for a two-year-old and one-year-old, as well as her stepchildren. She has been in remission for five years, and attributes being a better mother, wife, and person to her battle with cancer.
1. AATT: What made you decide to join the RHONJ?
Amber: “I was doing a lot of acting auditions, however, this opportunity proposed itself to me. There were never any obstacles in my way making it seem like it was just really meant to be. I would have been disappointed in myself if I did not accept this challenge. It is just not in my DNA. I love challenges, taking myself out of my comfort zone, pushing my limits, and hopefully conquering my goals. Plus, I felt this was an amazing platform for speaking about my personal experience with breast cancer to hopefully push other ladies into putting their health as top priority. And, trust me, with kids, I know sometimes we tend to put ourselves last on the agenda list.”
2. AATT: Prior to joining the cast had you watched the show?
Amber: “I did when Melissa told me she was going to be on it. I was excited for her and wanted to support her. I did not watch it a lot because I do not watch a lot of TV due to the kids, but I was proud of her accomplishments.”
3. AATT: Did you have any idea how cutthroat reality television could be?
Amber: “NO!! That is a BIG FAT NO! This group especially, I think, works over time to cut the other down to size and to hurt one another deeply. What bothers me is when it is behind someones back. I laugh when I say this, because it comes with the territory. I can fight till the day is long when I see my opponent, I can’t fight a battle when people are being sneaky. Plus, I also feel some of the cast mates (not mentioning any names) makes moves based on celebrity, not with integrity.”
4. AATT: I think you make a great addition to the show. Is it hard to watch yourself on TV?
Amber: “Thank you so much! And yes, of course. I pick myself apart, physically and behaviorally. For me, the cameras did not change who I was, but exemplified my emotions. I felt I cried far too many times. They were real tears, but I just wish I would of held them back more often. Being on the show is like being in a pressure cooker all of the time. Also, drinking, I will never be drunk on camera ever again. well, maybe.”
5. AATT: How do you deal with negative feedback on blogs & social media?
Amber: “I do not take any of it personally. AT ALL. I had a very healthy grasp of peoples perspectives prior to coming on the show. People formulate opinions based on their own personal experience, perspective of life, and knowledge, just to name a few. Two different people can see the same exact scene and come to two different conclusions. I embrace it, I love it, and respect it. Differences are what makes the world go round.”
6. AATT: How do you handle negative feedback when sharing your cancer story?
Amber: “Again, I don’t take it personally. I know the heartache and struggles that my family and I went through. I will talk about it all as damn long, if I choose.”
7. AATT: Do you think you’re being portrayed fairly?
Amber: “Sometimes yes, sometimes, not so much. I think everyone needs to just relax and enjoy the show”
8. AATT: Do you still have a friendship with Melissa?
Amber: “I don’t hate Melissa at all, I don’t know why but I can’t! I don’t think I would tell her anymore information that she could potentially use against me. That trust worthy relationship is tarnished. I am confident that her intentions to tell the twins what I was told was NOT with good intentions. Even with that said though, I’m an extremely forgiving person though and believe people learn, friendships evolve from their mistakes.”
9. AATT: Were you shocked that she took the info (about Nicole’s marriage) back to Nicole?
Amber: “Yes, very shocked and sad. She never came to me once to tell me she did not like the fact that I was told this information, then told her. She went right to them, not only that but twisted my words around to make it sound far worse than what I was even told.”
10. AATT: Where you saddened that the twins turned on you?
Amber: “Yes, I did not have a chance though. The twins and Bobby were star struck. They were never going to have my back, they were going to align with veteran cast mates, which took heat off the veterans. This left me on an island. I was going to get it no matter what. I wont work that way. I don’t care who are, I work with integrity.”
11. AATT: Do you believe the Rino/Santa affair is true?
Amber: “No…it’s just weird. However, I am staying clear of it. Besides, clearly, no matter what I say I will be blamed by the twins. It’s the George W. Bush effect, somethings wrong, Amber did it.”
12. AATT: How do you manage the negative reactions towards Jim?
Amber: “I’m here for him, I love him, and I have never seen a man fight so hard for people that hurt his family. That man is a Spartan. And yes, even if that other soldier with a sword is a woman.”